Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 144 - Oct 22, 2008

I'm not sure my mood is too much better, but I'm sure it will be in a couple of days. I think it's just all of the pressures combined. I know that Kevin is really doing fantastic, I do, but it's just exhausting having to do this every single day with no relief in sight.

It's also terribly frustrating to have to deal with pay issues for both Kevin and myself. His pays are terribly messed up and mine are non-existent. I have not seen one cent of the per diem for food and toiletries that I am supposed to have received since we arrived here two months ago. This would be a good time for me to say "Thank You" once again because we would be destitute without all of the help we have received. We honestly would not even be able to eat right now without the donations y'all have sent. Thank you so much!

And then I have to somehow find it in myself to accept being homeless. On Monday, all of our things will be moved into a storage facility. In all of my life I have never been in this situation. I have never not had a home. An address.

And yes, I know I have tons of friends and family members I can stay with, but it's just not the same.

And even scarier? How do you get a new home without a job? When we walk out of the hospital, how do you get a loan or rent an apartment when you don't have a job and haven't for all this time? I can assure you that landlords don't want to rent to someone without an income. And nobody will give a loan (esp in today's economy) when you haven't had your job for less than a year.

Ahhh...all these things just piling up. See? It's just no wonder I am in a weird frame of mind right now...

So anyway, moving on to Kevin...his head size came down some today. The neuro docs are thinking that this may just keep on happening to him. So it's going to be normal for him to get sick and his ICP to go through the roof possibly forever. I sure hope it becomes less frequent at least. It's been every other week or so and it's hard on him each time it happens. Something that kinda scares me about it too is that it won't be as obvious whenever he has his cranioplasty. Once his titanium skull is put in place, we won't see the shunt working or not working. At that point, I will have to rely on the other symptoms - vomiting, lethargy, etc. Gosh, I hope I am on the ball enough forever to see things clearly. It would be devastating to not see these things in time.

We did get Kevin down to my house today for dinner too. He fought it at first, but then he did well. He always hams it up in front of people at the house and he had a great audience tonight, lol. Once of the local churches supplied dinner tonight.

And I know I have some questions that need addressed, but I think this post is long enough so I am going to wait until tomorrow. I do want to thank everyone for your words of encouragement though. Sometimes it's really lonely here and during those times I always turn to the comments to feel like I have friends nearby.

And I feel bad for my friend, Tracy, as she is having to deal with me like this, lol. But I'm sure I will be better tomorrow.

Oh and Chuck? Thanks for listening to me whine on the phone today. I promise our next phone call won't be so bad, lol!


LISA said...


I think you were waiting for just collapse in her arms. She is your wonderful friend, has been forever and I think she is probably honored that she is there for all three of you when you need her the most.

I no longer get the newspaper each night, but I happened to pick one up today. On the front page of the Butler Eagle right at the top was Kevin's wonderful smiling face. Kim Paskorz, an Eagle Staff Writer did a wonderful job writing the article on Kevin.

I have to tell you that last night's blog post from Jeff...was terrific. I hope we all read it again and again. It is so true.

Hang in there Leslie. You and Brianna are doing such a wonderful job. are REMARKABLE. If one day you are taught to say miracle and don't remember what that word means...just have someone hold up a mirror and look at yourself in it.

YOU, Kevin Kammerdiener, are for sure a progress.

I never miss reading your blog each day. I wish we could send you the magical words to help you. Just know we all care so much and are with you in spirit. I'm so sorry this is happening to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Hello, you don't know me. I am a Gulf War 1 vet and I am from the south. You remind me so much of our strong southern women. In the face of the worst sh8t they bite thier lip and take charge with a strong hand, get the he!! out of my way attitude and a love that one can never know

i have been reading your blog for some time and have never wrote before. just know there are many many people you don't know that have you in thier thoughts.

Stay strong. We men act tough but in the end we need our mom.

oh and sorry Kev. go Navy beat Army

Anonymous said...

You are so much stronger then you always find a way to push on you will notice any change in Kevin when the shunt isn't in sight! Because you are a WONDERFUL MOM!!!!
Hang in there!
Kevin keep up the Awesome work....You are AMAZING!!!
Fillmore Utah

Vicki C said...

Chin up sweetie.. each day will get better.
I cant imagine how you are feeling about the "home" thing.. but you have lots of people who love you... always rembmer that!

sophie said...

I so often think to myself as I read your does she do it? Try not to let all the outside worries weigh you down (easy for me to say!) can't change them right now and the worry will wear you out. Look at that incredible son and daughter of yours-and look at yourself-a mother that has held her family together through thick and thin-and she'll keep right on doing it! Remember that when you're feeling low..and what an inspiration you are to all who know you and those of us that have met you here on your blog. Hugs and hope for a better day.


Jodi said...

Hi Les,

I can't say I know EXACTLY how you are feeling, but with all my medical issues, I know how it feels to be in a financial bind. I am so sorry you have those burdens as well as worrying about Kevin. You shouldn't have to. The Army should take care of you forever. I wish I had all the money in the world so you would never have to worry again. But, you are an amazingly strong lady and you WILL make it thru this. Look at you now! You never expected to be in this situation, but look how fantastic you have handled it for the last 144 days! Kevin would not be in as good of shape as he is right now if it weren't for you and Breezy! You and Breezy are AMAZING ladies. Never forget that! And yes, you do have tons of family and friends that would/will/do help you in a heartbeat. And never forget, now you even have MORE/new friends and "family" out here that love you 3 and will do whatever they can to help. Just take one day at a time Les, and each day will come and go, and you will be okay. You WILL be okay.

Kevin - Keep fighting kiddo. You are pretty amazing yourself. Never give up! We are rooting, pulling, and praying for you out here.

EXTRA healing and positive thoughts for Kevin.
EXTRA strength for Leslie and Breezy.
Safe thoughts for all military personnel and strength for their families.
EXTRA big hugs and love for all 3 of you!!!
All my love,
Andrew's Aunt Jodi

Anonymous said...

Dear Leslie,
I can not believe that you guys of all people are not being paid on time and I am so disappointed in the Army right now.
Please, I know you do not like to ask for help, but I think you should take your story to the media…I think “The Today Show” , “Good Morning America” and who ever else comes to mind…
Not just do you need (and deserve) the support of the country your son was fighting for but I think you will be an inspiration to so many other moms that have to deal with the same issues …
In my book you are a hero and I am sure that things will turn around for you…
All my prayers are with you and your family…
Tina Dwyer (El Paso, TX)

Anonymous said...

Hey its me again Les, I don't know how you do it but you are wonderful and you need to let go. Its ok that why we are FRIENDS. Kevin is an amazing young man and he got that way from his Mom, honey. We love ya and I am going to get a paper, I worked 24 yesterday and missed it. Love ya bunches Pam

Traci said...

Leslie, you are an inspiration to many of us out there. Keep your chin up and trudge forward one day at a time. We love you and you know that if you ever need anything, you can count on me!!

Anonymous said...

I think that Tina Dwyer has an excellent idea as far as going to the media with your story. It is a shame that our heroes and their families should have to wait in order to get what they need in order to survive everyday life. Sometimes you have to fight (sort of) with the government in order to get what you need. If and whenever you need to vent, do so and NEVER feel bad. That is what we are all here fore. Kevin, you and Breezy are an inspiraration to MANY people. There are probably alot of people, including myself, who could not do what you do everyday. tHE THREE OF YOU ARE IN MY PRAYERS DAILY INCLUDING aLLAN.

Jessica said...

It sounds like everything is hitting you all at once. You're under so much stress, and in an unpredictable situation. I can see how scary it must be. Just keep doing what you're doing and try to take each day as it comes. You have great instincts when it comes to Kevin's issues, so I have no worries in that respect.
I'm glad you told us about Kevin's pay not coming through, so now I can pray about it. If there's anybody I need to write to or petition, let us know!
I love what Abe Lincoln said: "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." The Lord will sustain you through this; I can't imagine how many dozens, or even hundreds, of people are praying for you, Kevin and Breezy!

Jen said...

I just wanted you to know that I waited for the paper yesterday and the article was GREAT!! I also wanted to tell you that you need to keep your chin up! You guys are wonderful...and give people back home (and all over the world) hope. You guys have shown all of us how perserverance, determination, and most of all love can get you through anything. Keep up the good work and don't worry about living are right where you are supposed to be right now!! Stay strong!!


Jackie said...

Hey, Les! It's been a long time since I've talked to you . . . too long! Kim came back to work with pictures of you guys and I have to tell you, you looked so happy with your baby! I can't even imagine what you are even going through right now, but from reading what everyone has written and what Kim has said, you are really strong. A mother's love is the stongest bond on this earth and Kevin can feel your love and support . . . you can see it in his face! When you get back around this way, if you need ANYTHING, you let me know! Keep doing what you're doing because it's working! Love ya, Jackie (MCAHS 1983)

Lil Tinker said...

I am a proud mother and giving my children a home is part of how I identify and judge myself so I completely understand your frustration and I don't think any of your family or friends feels that you are not grateful to them but we want a home to call our own when we are moms and WOMEN! As to a house and a job, you call me when you are getting settled with Kevin out of the hospital. My job is development with a non-profit and I know a lot of financial people that are sensitive to the needs of our troups and their families. While I may live in a tiny town now, that makes it even easier as we have small hometown banks where the bankers know each other and their communities. We can get this done.

Give my email address to your friends back home and have them email me, if they want and I will help set up some fundraisers too. I will fly to where you are from and meet with them and local business and see what we can get going. My best friend's husband is an O3 for the Army and stationed at the Pentagon. Tell me what issues you are having and I will see if he can help you too.

My email is

Hang on Leslie. We are here for you!

Anonymous said...

Oh Leslie I am so sorry to hear all the problems you are having with money down there. I ferel so bad for you guys. I will send a extra pray that way again. I sent out a package for Kevin and you. Hope he enjoys it. Lori Corson From Pittsburgh

TR Gurganus said...

Ma'am you don't know me. I am on Activ dutyright now. I would like to help you with your situation.
Please contact me through this email: This will get you my wife and she will provide you my military email and phone number. Please eail when you get this. I currently work at the Pentagon I'm sure I can help. Tell your son I am proud of him and I would like to thank him for everything. I'm also very proud of you. God Bles and I hope to hear from you vry soon.


Anonymous said...

I don't think my comment made it so I will send it again. If you need help with ARMY finance issues, I can get info, make phone calls, pull strings or rattle cages for you. 931-436-5663 is my work cell phone. Somewhere in the ARMY, Kevin is assigned to a Warrior Transition Battalion. WTB's have entire staffs of finance clerks to work on pay issues. I would be happy to help if I can. We hope Kevin gets to feeling better. Your family is always in our prayers.

Steve Kammerdiener
Command Sergeant Major (retired)

Please feel free to throw around my name and rank as you see fit. The best it can do is open some medium sized doors and make younger Army Officers quake in their shoes. The worst it will do is draw some laughter.